Tag Archives: Podcast

Seeing RED (audio)

Story by Zenryhao Narration by W. O’Hara


Podcasting: Mike Duncan returns, quietly as ever!

Click me to go to the ITUNES page for REVOLUTIONS

Oh, joy! You may recall a long ago post on my appreciation for the epically long HISTORY OF ROME podcast, by Mr. Mike Duncan.   I appreciated (then and now) Mr. Duncan’s approach to podcasting, his quiet humor, his research and dedication to a simple hour long, weekly format.   I was a faithful THOR (the History of Rome) subscriber as I found the length of one episode to be conducive to stress free commuting– it was essentially the perfect length.  Apparently I’m the last to know, but Mike Duncan has returned to the podwaves (don’t wince, it seems fitting).  His new podcast, REVOLUTIONS, premiered in September 2013 and is now up to 27 episodes.  Late notice, to be sure.  I’m not exactly an authority on the latest and greatest in the podcasting niche.  Still, I’m pleased as punch.  REVOLUTIONS covers “all the great political revolutions of history” and from the episode list I’m seeing, stars with Charles II and is currently moving through the American Revolution.  The French Revolution is next.  I think it’s a great topic and I’m looking forward to listening regularly.

If you’re a past fan of THOR, you’ll want to check out REVOLUTIONS.  If you’re new to Mike Duncan’s podcasts, subscribe to both!

Revolutions Home Page

History of Rome Typepad Site

Now, I have some serious catching up to do, if I’m going to sync up with what has already been recorded.  Thanks for the notice, Duncan!

The History of Byzantium Podcast

The Roman Empire in 477 AD.

The Roman Empire in 477 AD. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back in March of this year, Mr. Mike Duncan completed his singular achievement of History of Rome podcast, the story of Rome’s founding, the Republic and Empire that followed, as podcasts go, it was astonishing.. Mike kept at it week after week, year after year, until he arrived at natural breaking point, the Fall of the Western Empire in AD 476. Mike had excellent reasons for moving on to other passions (as in creating a family.. his wife was about to give birth). I’ll miss the research, the dedication and most of all the quiet humor and erudition of the History of Rome, but I don’t mind that it came to an end. It was an amazing run of a podcast and I can hardly blame him for stopping. Still, there was much to the story that remained untold. The Roman Empire did not cease to exist after the Western Empire fell in 476. The Eastern half of the Empire lasted from 330 to 1453. The largely Greek oriented and speaking populace of this Empire thought of themselves as Romans and there’s no evidence they ever used the phrase “Byzantine” to refer to themselves, but since the capital had been transferred to a small city on the Bosporus called Byzantium (later Constantinople, now Istanbul), history has called this Empire “Byzantine” ever after. From 330 to 1453 is a lot of years, and I was sad to see we wouldn’t hear that part of the story when Mike Duncan stopped the History of Rome– I know very little of the Byzantine Empire, actually and would love to learn more about it. So imagine my surprise when I discovered newish HISTORY OF BYZANTIUM podcast on Itunes’ Podcast app recently. Created by Robin Pearson, of London, UK. Robin is a blogger and TV Critic who is a fellow admirer of Mike Duncan’s History of Rome, as he unabashedly admits to in Episode 1. It is Robin’s intent to somewhat seamlessly join his new narrative covering the history of What Happened Next to the Romans directly to Mike Duncan’s, and THE HISTORY OF BYZANTIUM starts up the same year as Mike’s last podcast, AD 476. Robin confesses that he can’t match Mike’s output (Mike tried for a weekly schedule and usually made it, Robin will be more like 2-3 weeks between episodes, based upon what I’ve heard so far).

I’ve listened to 7 episodes so far, and I like what I’m hearing. This is a very thoughtful, well-researched podcast that purposely emulates Duncan’s half-hour structure and to a great extent his style. Already I’m noticing Duncan-isms creeping into the narrative. When I heard of the death of Emperor Anastatius recently, Robin used the old line from History of Rome summing up his accomplishments “Anastatius was 83, he ruled the Roman Empire for 27 years…” that bit made me smile.

I like this podcast quite a bit. Robin is serious about this effort and is putting in a lot of work to put out a great history podcast. I strongly recommend his podcast and suggest you download a few episodes as soon as you can.  Look for HISTORY OF BYZANTIUM on Itunes

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Where does ALIEN come from?


I just discovered a tip top chat show about Science Fiction from the UK called Hynobobs. In the the latest episode, the lads at Hypnobobs discuss the vaunted origins of the movie ALIEN. Where did this story come from? What source material influenced the story?

Kudos for referencing Dark Star. I like that movie– although I admit it’s a learned taste..

To listen to the audio: http://hosting.geekplanetonline.com/originals/hypnobobsmedia/2012-06-02_hypnobobs_80__origins_of_alien.mp3″

Podcasting: The History of Rome podcast draws to a close. An Appreciation

I first became aware of Mike Duncan’s excellent HISTORY OF ROME podcast somewhere around the episodes featuring one of my favorite Roman Emperors, Vespasian. At least I believe it to be true– #70, if memory serves, on Galba and Otho. So I missed from 1-69, more or less. From that point on I just listened to them as they arrived on my feed, mostly once a week, for almost two years. I’m reasonably studied in the broader reach of the History of Rome (roughly up the era as described by Suetonius) but was fairly ignorant of the Roman Empire in later years. It’s fascinating material. Mike Duncan has soldiered on, week after week, providing me with intriguing commuting fodder, always interesting, as the Roman Empire expanded, collapsed, expanded, collapsed, went through dynastic change, then religious change, then eventually the long, slow contraction to the point we are at now, just after Attila. Mike announced at the end of episode 173 that the story is almost at an end– historians differ about what year was the true “fall of the Western Empire”, but Mike has selected ca. 476 AD.    He is doing this for two reasons: 1) “Mrs. History of Rome” is 7 months pregnant and he will soon have a baby boy to take care of; and 2) after 476, there is material to cover but it is much of a muchness to Mike, being a series of Empirical candidates, political marriages, and pretty much the big implosion of what is left of the West, and he would rather go out on a high note.

Those are both excellent reasons, particularly number 1.  So, Mazel Tov, Mr. and Mrs. Duncan, and enjoy your new child, you are in for an adventure.  Mr. Duncan, if by some chance you read this, I just wanted to thank you personally for the effort, research and talent it has taken to produce this wonderful series.  I am saddened that you are departing from the podcasting scene (one hopes, only for a little while…) but I understand your motivation.   And, extra bonus, I can go back and listen to episodes 1-69 to catch up on what I missed!  Thanks again, and happy parenting.

For the rest of you, if you haven’t considered podcasting and you love history, you owe it to yourself to give Mike’s magnum opus a try, even if it is just an episode or two.


(also syndicated on ITunes)


I got introduced to RadioLab via expanding my horizons on Stitcher– a great little app for Iphone, Ipad, and Android devices that permits entire shows to stream to conclusion without an internet connection.  Lately I’ve been checking out some other … Continue reading

StarShip Sofa Stories Volume 1

Anthology vol 1

Anthology, Vol 1, now a free-ish Epub

Tony Smith’s StarShipSofa, one of the best SF literary podcasts known to man, is now in the business of publishing short story collections drawn from the authors they feature in their program. Volume 2 is for sale here: http://www.starshipsofa.com/stories-volume-2/ in a nice turn of events, Volume 1 is available for download in several locations! It is suggested that you make a donation via paypal to help pay for StarShipSofa’s operating expenses. That’s not a bad deal for sixteen excellent stories by top writers in the field, illustrated in glorious original pulp style. Their first anthology is detailed here and the E-Pub link is here: http://www.starshipsofa.com/anthology/ebook/. The main site, with donate buttons, is located here: http://www.starshipsofa.com

OR.. you can download it from Box.net.   Provided under Creative Commons license, donations strongly encouraged. Here’s the link: StarShipSofa-Stories-Volume-1.pdf